What is laser cutting and why is it so widespread?

Today we talk about one of the most requested machines among the used industrial machines. The category of sheet-metal machines is certainly dominated, without any doubt, by laser cutting systems. But what is laser cutting and why is it so widespread? Let’s try to understand a bit more.

The Laser

“LASER” is an acronym that stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation“.

Lasers specifically amplify light by absorption and radiation of energy.

The laser beam is generated by a laser source. The energy that is collected is directed to a crystal rod (solid laser), or to a special gas mixture (gaslaser). This power supply can be generated by light (flash lamps or laser diodes) or by electric shock (similar to a fluorescent tube). The crystal rod, or the active laser gas, is placed between two mirrors. The result is a light resonator that gives the laser light a precise direction, continuously amplifying it. A defined part of the laser light comes out of a partially permeable mirror and can be used to process materials.


The laser light is sharply focused by using a focusing lens.

Focusing generates a very high power density by which the materials can be fused or vaporised. The laser light can then be directed and diverted by means of a dedicated optical system (mirror) over large distances and without any loss. The displacement systems used are positioning systems (laser-plotters) or galvanometric scanners. Consequently, the laser is considered as a universal and wear-free tool because the laser beam is never blunted.

Types of Lasers

The most common types of laser are gas lasers or CO2 lasers and fiber lasers.

The two types of lasers differ in their economic operation and long service life. CO2 lasers are particularly suitable for engraving and cutting. Fiber lasers are mainly used for laser marking.

In the industrial field, carbon dioxide laser cutting is mainly used, as it has a specific power higher than the alternative solutions. Through this technology it is possible to cut and engrave many materials, plus the finished product does not need to be subjected to further finishing treatments. This is possible thanks to the laser work that makes the cut perfectly smooth and clean. Laser cutting technology is practically efficient on all types of materials. This is another reason why it is in great demand in the industrial world.

In our online catalogue you can find a wide selection of used laser cutting machines available. Do not hesitate to consult also all the offers of used sheet metal machines available on www.makinate.com.

If you are interested in this article, we recommend you to read the other articles in the category “How it works” on our blog.

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